Texas has a track record of being a safe haven for some of the most bigoted people in the United States. The state is most known for its extremely high execution rate, it’s call to dilute the extent of slavery in students’ text books, and it’s aggressive call to secede from the nation following President Barack Obama’s re-election.
Now Texas is in the spotlight once again because police officers in Jasper, Texas gave a black woman a brutal beating that knocked her braces out of her mouth and chipped her tooth. Twenty-five-year-old Keyarika “Shea” Diggles was beaten by two white cops on May 5 after being brought to jail for an unpaid fine. Diggles’ attorney, Cade Bernsen, says her client was on the phone with her mother trying to make payment arrangements for the $100 owed when Officer Ricky Grissom cut off the call. The video footage, which has no audio, shows Diggles and Grissom engaging in a back and forth, which prompted Officer Ryan Cunningham to come behind her in an attempt to handcuff her. When she appears to raise her hand, Cunningham grabs Diggles by the hair and slams her head into a countertop. The officers wrestle Diggles to the ground before dragging her by her ankles into a jail cell. Diggles was charged with resisting arrest for arguing with the officers, a charge dropped on Monday, according to Bernsen.
“She got her hair pulled out, broke a tooth, braces got knocked off … it was brutal,” Bernsen told Yahoo!. The precinct was in agreement with Bernsen and fired the two officers. Jasper City Council Member Alton Scott obtained the video in the Diggles’ incident and turned it over to a local TV station after he heard that her written complaint against the officers was apparently being ignored. He admits the town has trouble with matters regarding race.